Took her out school but I'M feeling sad!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 01-16-2003, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Today will be my daughter's last day at pre-school. She just turned 5 last week. She goes to what I think is a really wonderful school- small groups, loving teachers, child-led activites. Everytime I go into her classroom, lots of fun stuff is going on, and the feelings of love, community, and nurturing are everywhere. She has been going there for three days a week for one year.

So, what's the problem. She SAYS she doesn't like school. The reason I state it doubtfully is because her teachers say she enjoys herself all day long- no tears, lots of fun with the other kids, joins every activity. Yet she has told me over and over and OVER that she doesn't like school. Her reasons as to why are never specific. (one day its "no one likes to play with me," the next day "kids want to play with me and I don't want to.") We have tried and tried to get to the bottom of it, (for a whole year) but to no avail.

However, a few days ago she was crying about going to school (again) and I just said to myself, "okay, that's it." And we took her out. Now she will be staying home with me, her baby brother, another baby I babysit for, and a 2 year-old with whom she doesn't get along. sighhhhhhhhhh

I am feeling sad and guilty, beleive it or not! I feel like I am taking away fun, community, learning, outdoors, etc and replacing it with grouchy mom who can't even get out the door because its just too hard with two babies, a 2 year old, and a 5 year old.

Yet I felt I had to listen to her voice. She TOLD me (do many times) she DIDN'T want to go. SO why do I feel GUILTY for taking her out???

Please, offer me some reassurance, or help me see this as positive. I feel like I just "gave in" and in doing so, took away something precious away from her. My family thinks I am doing her harm, and that I am letting her dictate something that is unhealthy for her, when she is too young to really decide for herself. I feel so sad and confused!!
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#2 of 11 Old 01-16-2003, 11:13 AM
 
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+Don't feel bad! You are a great mama for listening for your daugher's cues and acting on them. And I wish my oldest would want to homeschool. I hate taking him to school and watching his self esteem plummet, but he loves it, he says and so we keep sending him.

Perhaps she is jealous of the little kids getting so much mommy? Perhaps she felt "banished" to school? My dd when she was four stopped going to preschool for a while. She just couldn't bear to be seperated from me. Remeber, just because she is staying home with you know, doesn't mean it will aways be that way. It may change and I think that your instincts will let you know what is right for you and your daughter.


Good luck!
Miranda
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#3 of 11 Old 01-16-2003, 12:07 PM
 
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Mamacrab,

Do not feel bad at all. You have listened to your childs voice.Most parents rarely do that.

The greatest lesson you are teaching her is that you respect and trust her. You are telling her that what she feels and thinks and that is far above anything else.

She will know that you are doing this because she is important to you and she is loved.

Blessings to you, Granolamom
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#4 of 11 Old 01-16-2003, 01:37 PM
 
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Sometimes, as adults, we can't put into words our feelings, we just feel depressed, complain and express unhappiness. For children this is even more true. Just because she can't put a name on her unhappiness at school doesn't mean she doesn't know what the answer is. You are to be commended for listening to your child's voice even when you don't understand, or see the longterm affects. Your love will see you through.

~b
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#5 of 11 Old 01-16-2003, 01:39 PM
 
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Mamacrab~

Try not to be hard on yourself! I know you feel bad right now, but I think you did the right thing. Sometimes looks can be deceiving. Just becuase it looked so good on the outside, there was oviously something deeper going on since she didn't want to go. It could have been something as simple as her missing you, but it was still important to her. I think it is great that you respect her to make her own choices like that, even if it is not easiest on you. I am sure your daughter very much appreciates you listening to her!

I, too, have days when I think we will go to the park or whatever as soon as we get XYZ done, and before I know it, it is dinner time and we never made it anywhere. I think though, that your child is probably having a pretty good time anyway, just being with you (where she wants to be) doing normal stuff with you. Isn't that how a lot of kids are? They don't really appreciate a lot of fancy stuff or cool trips, they just want their parents to spend some good, old-fashioned time with them!

Good luck and I know it will get easier!
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#6 of 11 Old 01-17-2003, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dear Miranda, Granolamom, barbara, and PerfectLove,

I really can't thank you enough for all your kind and thoughtful responses. I was teary reading each one. For some reason, this decision was so difficult for me, and reading your words of support was indescribably helpful.

Miranda, it was reassuring to hear that your daughter wanted to stop pre-school for a while when she was four. From some of the responses I've got IRL, you'd think leaving pre-school was a definite sign of social maladjustment destined to scar the rest of your life!

Granolamom, thank you for taking the time to reassure me, especially when you are having your own intense feeling about *your* daughter's schooling choices (I have been reading your threads and your daughter sounds like an amzing young woman!)

Barbara, you are right that just because my daughter can't seem to explain clearly, it doesn't make her feelings any less real. It was helpful to remember that.

PerfectLove, thanks for pointing out that just being home can be nice for kids, even more so than activities galore.

I printed out this thread for when I'm feeling doubtful and unsure. It was really helpful for dh. too. Kids are fussing, gtg, THANKS AGAIN MAMAS!
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#7 of 11 Old 01-17-2003, 03:49 PM
 
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Hi Mamacrab. When I took ds (then 8, now almost 10) out of school, it was after years of reading and preparation, and a horrific ps experience, and I still felt guilty and depressed about it, something that came as a total shock to me. I had assumed that finally making the hsing decision would be wonderful relief.

It took me about 2 months to work through my feelings, but I finally figured out that I had to, in a way, mourn for and give up the life I thought we would live, that ds would go to school, I would have my seperate life, and we'd live the same way as pretty well everyone else that I knew at the time. I also realized, after a few months, that, despite having worked closely with the ps for 2 years, I felt that I had failed, that I hadn't tried hard enough to "make" my son succeed at school, that I would look like a failure to other parents (some acquaintances assumed that I took my son out of school because he was anti-social or academically behind, and I heard some pretty rude comments about it, didn't help my mood at the time, needless to say, lol.) And I felt guilty that I had somehow "damaged" my son, that I hadn't been a good enough parent, and that was why he couldn't handle school, when all the other kids had no problems (at least in my imagination, lol.) It helped a lot to get online, talk with other parents who had been in similar situations (ds has Tourette Syndrome, something ps systems all over don't handle well,) and also to talk with other parents from ds's old class, and found that most of the other kids had problems with the school, either socially or academically, that my son wasn't a "failure."

I have to applaud you for listening to your daughter's choices, too. She may not have a concrete reason for disliking school, but that seems to me like she knows that she doesn't like it, and just can't articulate her feelings any more accurately yet.

Ali
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#8 of 11 Old 01-17-2003, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your reply, Ali. You articulated another thing that had been bothering me: I thought when I finally took her out, I would feel RELIEF (as many other mamas have said they did), but instead I felt (feel?) guilt and anxiety. Your post eloquently explained many of the reasons why this could be. Thanks for helping me process my mixed-up mama emotions.
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#9 of 11 Old 01-19-2003, 12:13 AM
 
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Hmm... your family thinks you're doing your daughter harm by having her home with you - one of the people who knows her best in the world and loves her child as only a mother can? Where is the harm? You know, there were plenty of brilliant, successful, creative, inventive, participating citizens around before pre-school was ever invented. There is much learning that takes place at home whether or not you have little themed areas set up all around your house. Your daughter will be learning to get along with children of various ages - including the one she does not presently get along with. It does not mean she will NEVER get along with the two year old. She will need to learn the art of compromising and begin to understand a little about child development as the child grows and matures. She will learn responsibility and feel needed if she is allowed to help-out with various tasks around the home. Oh, we just worry so, don't we? We're in our second year of home school (one in 1st grade and the other PS age) and have done "preschool" at home from the beginning. Did I have a fancy curriculum for that? No way. We had a couple of workbooks to do work in from time to time when my first dd felt like it and it stayed fun, but when the fun wore off we'd put them away for awhile and just live... play dough, sand box, snow play, sing, dance, read, cook, visit friends, or EVEN do nothing!!! It IS allowed. The majority of our lives will be structured. Our society structures our children's days more and more it seems and at earlier ages... I think it's because, #1 We adults are afraid to be bored or QUIET (as if boredom really ever lasts an incredible amount of time at home anyway - many people I know are often more bored at work!) and #2 of course we think busyness equals success and opportunity. I have heard so many parents who have their kids signed up in a million activities say that they just don't wan't their kids to miss out on the opportunity!! But really, balance is a better thing I think - a loftier goal to achieve. It seems today that more of us adults are striving for more balance and peace than further opportunities or success. I think it might be wise to gift that to our children.
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#10 of 11 Old 01-19-2003, 07:01 PM
 
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I went to preschool when I was little while my mom worked part time. I hated it. I can still remember feeling lost and alone. My parents thought that I really liked it. My mom thought it seemed like a lovely, friendly, playful place.

Then one day, when I was 4, my mom got FIRED! She came and picked me up early and we went home. I was SOOOOO happy. I can still remember it really clearly. She stayed home with me for about 6 months, until I started kindergarten. I loved being home with my mom far more than all the lovely "opportunities" of preschool.

My mom never did little activities with me, or took me any where other than the zoo or the park, or did crafts other than making playdough. She never once arranged a "playdate" for me. But I was far happier at home with her than I was a preschool.
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#11 of 11 Old 01-20-2003, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Linda and Granolagirl for your additional perspectives. Linda, thank you for sharing that memory- that was so validating!! And granolagirl, you are right, learning to get along with the 2-year-old is going to be a major goal for for my dd, but I know it will take time. Now that the decision has has been made and I've had several days to process, I am feeling much more positive. Reading lots of homeschool stuff has been helful, and of course, coming here to MDC
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